‘Predatory’ karate expert’s ‘catalogue of sexual depravity’

HENRY COOK ... the perverted karate expert has been jailed for 10 years.
HENRY COOK ... the perverted karate expert has been jailed for 10 years.

A ‘PREDATORY’ karate expert from South Tyneside is today starting a 10-year jail sentence for sexually abusing his pupils.

As revealed on this website late yesterday, instructor Henry Wilson Cook – known as Harry – even abused children during a lesson on fighting off sex attackers.

He was jailed and banned form working with children for the rest of his life.

The 62-year-old former teacher, originally from South Shields, taught hundreds of youngsters over the years and wrote a book - Shotokan Karate: A Precise History - which now fetches £100 on the internet.

Yesterday, a judge at Newcastle Crown court branded his crimes as a “most appalling catalogue of sexual depravity.”

Cook admitted 29 sexual offences in January this year including eight counts of indecent assault, seven of sexual assault, five of making indecent images of children, seven of possessing indecent images of children, one of possessing an extreme pornographic image and one of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

Police discovered 55,585 indecent images and 600 videos of children at his home in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, when he was arrested.

Cook, 62, was back at court yesterday to be sentenced. He will also have to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

The court heard Cook’s abuse spanned 26 years and his victims included five girls, one as young as five.

Prosecutors said he even abused one of his young victims during a lesson on how to tackle sex attackers.

A psychiatric assessment was carried out on Cook before he was sentenced.

The seventh Dan master of two forms of karate was already in prison after admitting more child sex attacks last year.

Police continued the investigation after more victims came forward.

After studying at Durham University, Cook became a English and mathematics teacher at Brinkburn Comprehensive School in South Shields, before devoting his life to the martial art.

After the case, DC Gillian Allen of the Northumbria Police public protection unit said: “We are happy this dangerous sexual predator is now behind bars. We commend the victims and their families as well as Cook’s family for the way in which they have conducted themselves throughout this difficult period. We hope that this sentence can help them achieve a certain amount of closure.

Cook’s family said they were “deeply distressed” by what has come to light over the past months, “utterly condemn his actions” and have totally renounced him.

One of his victims said: “After living with the immense horror for over 20 years I feel some justification and I’m relieved that people can now see him for what he truly is.

“He is the lowest form of predator taking advantage of young and vulnerable girls and abusing his position of trust.

“I feel total disgust and loathing towards him for all he has done and he is now where he belongs. I hope he remains in prison for a very long time.”

Twitter: @ShieldsGazCrime